Re-Source [Economy-Enviroment-Society] through Design

Why “Re-Source”?

In English the words “Source” and “Resource” are interdependent in construction (syntactic) and meaning (semantic); I think this is not in vane, and I take advantage of the opportunity to call for a Re-Source (as a verb) of all Economic, Human & Natural resources (as substantive). This must be done from the source in order to stop and reverse the impacts of Climate Change.

There are two basic situations that the world is living and that justify in some matter the approach I’m intending to address in these project: Climate Change & Emerging Economies (or Markets). I’ve always insisted that Designers should not only project towards problems and needs, but also towards capabilities and opportunities, which I consider are the main reasons to address this issues; Climate Change might be seen as a problem which demands needs, but in the context of Emerging Economies it’s an opportunity that demands capabilities. In this case, Design must play an active role on joining the pieces together so that this situation can happen, applying his knowledge and skills with a commitment towards a Sustainable Development. In this case seems relevant to clarify the view of these two concepts through the eyes of the project.

Production Technology – PT (Medium)

This is considered as one of the competencies of Design (and stated by the KISD as one of the ‘areas of expertise’), or in this specific case, what I define as one of the knowledge that the designer owns and develops. In the context of the project, the PT appears as the medium that the designer uses in order to deliver products, services or processes that push the world away from a Carbon-Dependent scenario and into a smart technological appropriation scenario in which production processes live harmonically together with the environment and its resources.

Sustainable Development – SD (Goal)

Sustainable has become a “cliché” in recent times language, but few people address it in its whole meaning and reach; but the concept turns even more ambiguous when the word Development is added to the equation. A SD occurs when the industrial development is shifted without affecting the existence of the three types of resources: Human, Natural & Economic. The countries that have had it’s industrial development didn’t thought of it at the time and have now to make adjustments in order to turn that development into a sustainable one; by the other side, the emerging economies that haven’t had a successful industrial development, have now the first option to start by sustainability.

Emerging Economies – EE (Context)

The Emerging Economies (or Markets, as some call them), are those who didn’t had an industrial development simultaneous to the industrialized world and lately, but strongly, are managing to ‘step it up’ and enter the industrialized (and post-industrialized) world. Some examples of this EE, in different proportions, are India and Colombia. In terms of resources, this EE present a very interest scenario: they are rich in Natural Resources but poor in Economic Resources; in terms on Human Resources, which I consider are the same Technological Resources, the situation is quite ambivalent, for there are plenty of resources but I might say they are spoiled resources. This is when a Designer can, and must, step in the picture and try to potentiate this HR in order to propitiate a proper link between the rich NR and the poor ER; by doing this, all resources will be oriented towards shifting the country into a Sustainable Development. Besides this, the Designer acts as a link in two roles: by appropriating PT in order to give a smart use to the natural resources (by delivering new products, services or processes) & by attracting investments in order to balance the weight of resources (if Richard Florida is right in The Rise of Creative Classes, and companies & investment go where the creative minds are).

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